Updated: Jun 18, 2019
I’m a keen reader of non-fiction, and over the last three years I’ve read 92 business, strategy, personal development, entrepreneurial, mindset, leadership and property-related books. Importantly, however, what I noticed was that only 21% of these publications were penned by women.
I asked a friend, and he reported that of all the books he’d read in the same timeframe only 8% had been written by women. He was so disturbed by this fact that he delved further and asked amongst his female business friends, and they too reported similarly low percentages and great disappointment to discover that women are so poorly represented in this arena.
How can younger generations possibly be influenced by women when there are so few female role models to aspire to? Women who can show them what is possible in life, indeed show not only the next generation but the current generation what they can achieve, and how they can shape the future.“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot
So, to correct these low percentages, tip the literary bias and bring more awareness to some very successful women role models out there in the property and business world today, I’m reviewing four property-related books written by three incredible women: ‘Bricking It’ by Nicole Bremner, ‘Solving the Property Puzzle’ by Gill Fielding, and ‘Rich Woman’ and ‘It’s Rising Time’ by Kim Kiyosaki.
Nicole’s book ‘Bricking It’ is a candid insight into her personal property journey. I immediately identified with Nicole and her lightbulb moment of how property could solve the problem of wanting to work, bring in an income and raise children without compromising on any area. It took me 10 years to recognise that property was a solution to my financial freedom. Like Nicole, it had also been staring me in the face.
Utilising her transferable business and financial skills acquired through her banking and accounting background, Nicole launched head on into property development unleashing her creative flair and a clear passion for interior design. ‘Bricking It’ covers many areas required in successful property investing such as finance, crowdfunding, project management, using social media to build your brand, joint ventures, and the importance of your strategy choice.
Following Nicole’s journey, l felt like a fly on the wall observing everything as she describes happened to her, her decision-making around her investments, how she scaled up the business, how she mitigated issues and overcame challenges. Nicole’s story is a reassuring, positive lesson that if you take action, you get results. I believe that Nicole’s journey in property development is just scraping the surface of what she has planned in business for the future, and I look forward to following her journey.
Gill is a self-made millionaire with a no-nonsense, positive approach to finance. She is a naturally gifted presenter who regularly appears on radio and TV as a financial expert speaking on macro-economic affairs, wealth creation, financial education, investing skills as well as personal finance, motivational and inspirational topics. Gill’s incredible mission to light the financial spark in as many people as she can in her lifetime is inspirational.
Gill’s book ‘Solving the Property Puzzle’ covers the following aspects:
How to find the best place to invest and why 99% of people will get this wrong
Where you should visit first when researching a new investment area (and it’s not the local estate agent!)
Funding and why you only ever have to worry about that first deposit
Portfolio size and why the more properties you own, the less risk you carry
The ups and downs of the property market and why you shouldn’t fear them
Why you should stop panicking about interest rate rises.
Gill is an incredible woman, and when you read this book you can literally hear her East End accent speaking directly to you. Add in her quick-witted humour and her keen eye for business, and you have a Haynes-style manual jam-packed with 40 years of property investing experience condensed into an easy-to-read, informative guide with top investor tips to help you become financially free through owning your own property portfolio.
There is a certain irony in my reviewing Gill’s book, because she actually called me out in front of 250 people at one of Fielding Financial’s quarterly property conferences for spending so much time reading! She said, “50 books. Amy, you could have bought 50 properties in the time that you have spent reading 50 books!” That’s a sobering thought, and there’s that no-nonsense approach I was describing earlier!
You’ve all heard of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’, but who has heard of ‘Rich Woman’? Written in 2006, it was one of the first books I read once I had made my decision to invest in property, and as a result of reading it, I made a commitment to myself to empower as many women as I could along my journey. This is one of the reasons I set up a Women in Property Mastermind in January 2017, which is still going strong today.
In the world of investing, the how to invest, how to buy a rental property, how to choose a stock or get a good return on your investment is the same for women as it is for men. So why is there a need for a book on investing, just for women? The answer is because when it comes to money, men and women are different – historically, psychologically, mentally and emotionally.
Today, more than ever, women can no longer depend on someone else, be it a husband, a partner, parents, a boss or a government, to take care of them financially. What was true for their mothers and grandmothers is not applicable to them today. In Kim’s opinion, and I strongly agree, women must learn to invest to ensure a secure life for themselves and their children. The rules of life have changed and it’s time that we all take control of our financial futures.
Kim is passionate about providing a positive learning environment for financial education for women. A successful entrepreneur and seasoned investor with a lifetime of experience in business, property and investing, the simple purpose of this book is to inspire women to take action and to understand that becoming financially independent is not rocket science but ‘pocket science’. Putting money into your pocket. Anyone can do it, it just takes some time and education.
Kim’s words sum up the importance of taking charge of your money and your life. “Ultimately, money buys you one of two things: it buys you slavery or it buys you freedom. Slavery to your job, your debt, and sometimes even slavery within your relationships. Or it buys you freedom to live your life as you choose. By making money important in my life, I bought my freedom. That’s important to me…simply because I hate being told what to do.”
My 16-year-old daughter recently spoke to her class about financial literacy and why it should be taught in schools. It was one of the proudest moments of my life to know that I have become one of her role models as a ‘Rich Woman’, having shown her the importance of being financially independent as a woman.
‘It’s Rising Time’ was written in 2011 and Kim is still calling to women to act. The book is separated into four sections: Aspire, Acquire, Apply and Achieve, and requires you to choose your dream, gain the knowledge to make it happen, bring it all together and realise your financial dreams. Kim shares real-life hands-on stories about business and investing which will enlighten, encourage and surprise you.
We Have a Problem…
I have shared with you four great books which I believe will benefit any woman in your life. In fact, I should say any man or woman because we have a serious problem in the UK, and that problem is financial literacy.
66% of people feel too confused to make the right choices about their money, and more than 33% say they don’t have the right skills to properly manage their cash. (Source: Learndirect Study, cited in Credit Action. Debt Facts and Figures – Compiled March 2011)
5% of adults believe that young people are currently leaving school with the financial skills and knowledge they need to manage their finances. (Source: Research carried out by ING Group for Personal Finance Education Group, December 2013)
Only 36% of people understand that the term APR relates to payments. This falls to 31% amongst those aged 18-34. (Source: Survey - UK Payments Council, Sept 2017)
And what about the statistics for women?
Money is no.1 source of conflict in marriage. (Source: Slater & Gordon, 2018)
In first year after a divorce, a women’s standard of living drops an average of 73%. (Source: Ann Letteeresee, June 2000)
59% of women in Britain said they’d divorce immediately if their future economic security was assured. (Source: Salkeld, 2008)
Women are twice as likely to live their retirement years in poverty. Majority of these women were not poor when their husbands were alive.
Why is this a problem?
Financial issues are no. 1 most pressing concern in our lives, more than health, family or time.
Women live longer than men and often marry older men so many baby boomer widows will have to support themselves for 15-20 years.
47% of women over 50 are single and, therefore, financially responsible for themselves.
90% of all women will have sole responsibility for their finances within their lifetimes, yet 79% of all women have not planned for this.
A woman may go through the couple’s nest egg paying for the healthcare costs of an ailing partner and deplete the financial resources she needs for the rest of her life.
(NB the facts and statistics taken from Kim’s books do not quote their original sources so have not been verified)
What can you do?
Take action now.
Teach yourself first and then help others. Like on a plane, they request that you sort out your own mask first, breathe, then help others around you to breathe. I’ve been educating myself, learning the finances, running a business. I’m now passionate about helping others to do the same.
Be passionate about life. Have fun, engage in your community and give to others. Position yourself around good people and create a 100% team of supporters.
It’s time to rise above the obstacles.
Rise beyond where you think you can go.
Rise up to your financial genius.
It’s Rising Time!
“Women are like tea bags; put them in hot water and they get stronger.” Eleanor Roosevelt
So, what action did I take? Hoping that the low percentage of 21% books I’d read written by women was just an anomaly on my bookshelf, whilst celebrating World Book Day and International Women’s Day this month, I reached out for book recommendations on social media, and I received huge support to tip the literary bias. Here are the books penned by amazing women which I hope you will read, enjoy and share with others:
Recommendations of books from people across social media communities:
‘Grit’ - Angela Duckworth ‘Let it Go ‘- Dame Stephanie Shirley ‘A History of the World in 21 Women’ - Jenni Murray ‘Take Control of your Life’- Mel Robbins ‘Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You're Worth’ - Mika Brzezinski ‘Grow Your Value: Living and Working to Your Full Potential’ - Mika Brzezinski ‘Work like a Woman’ - Mary Portas ‘My Own Words’ - Ruth Bader Ginsburg ‘Becoming’ - Michelle Obama ‘Girlboss’ - Sophia Amoruso Jo Malone - autobiography ‘Brand Brilliance’ by Fiona Humberstone ‘Hello World’ by Hannah Fry ‘The Wealthy Retirement Plan’ - Vicki Wusche ‘The Empowered Entrepreneur’ - Elizabeth Cairns ‘Build an Empire: How to Have it All’ - Elena Cardone ‘The Soul of Money’ - Lynne Twist ‘Big Magic’ - Elizabeth Gilbert ‘The Woman I’m Becoming: Reflections to Empower the Females of the Future’ - collection from 21 women
Recommended women authors:
Gill Fielding Marianne Williamson Chantal Burns Mel Robbins Marilyn Jenett Gabrielle Bernstein Debbie Allen Vicki Robin Anita Moorjani Debbie Ford Kate Northrup Barbara Stanny Jen Sincero Elizabeth Gilbert Lisa Nichols Wendy Wallbridge Florence Scovel Shinn Lynne Twist Gretchen Rubin Suze Orman Catherine Ponder Byron Katie Kim Kiyosaki Marci Shimoff Esther Hicks Judi Orloff Louise Hay Arianna Huffington Danielle LaPorte Cheryl Richardson Julie Ann Cairns Leanne Jacobs Jinny Ditzler Manisha Thakor Joan Sotkin Bari Tessler, Merryn Somerset Webb Susan Jeffers Rhonda Byrne Gill Alton
So, for the benefit of this generation, the next generation and for generations to follow, I’m calling on all women out there. If you’ve been thinking of sharing your story, your knowledge, your journey, your experiences, please do so. We want to hear your story! Please get writing! Now! Let’s tip that literary bias.
A final note, I was made aware of the amazing work Reese Witherspoon is doing for women in film. This video is worth watching.
I’ll leave you with these words: “What do we do now?”